New Delhi: India has not compromised its right to development at the meeting of G-8 countries with outreach nations in Italy and the joint statement issued only referred to “aspirational goal” of limiting the increase in global temperature to 2° C by 2050.
“We will not accept any cap on (Green House Gas - GHG) emissions. We will not accept any legally binding caps. Not now or later,” environment minister Jairam Ramesh told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
The joint statement issued at the G-8 meeting merely states the countries aspire to limit the rise in temperature to below 2° C by 2050.
“It is an aspirational goal and not a target,” Ramesh said asserting that India’s position on tackling climate change was not weakened by the joint statement issued by world leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at La Aquila in Italy earlier in July this year.
“India has not capitulated. India has not compromised,” he said. He noted India does not have GHG abatement commitments under the Kyoto protocol but has a range of policies and programmes that are being followed in this regard.
Answering a separate question, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said India cannot reduce electricity generation from coal-fired plants till it develops alternative sources of energy.
Ramesh said India’s total GHG emission was 1,228 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent as per official statistics reported in the first national communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
According to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, there has been an increase in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level, he said.
Ramesh said agriculture contributes only 28% ot total GHG emissions in the country.
“Use of agriculture residues in biomass cogeneration projects for generation of electricity and steam in the industry will help in reducing emissions from agricultural crop residues,” he said.
The minister said government has approved 334 projects involving biomass under the clean development mechanism. These projects, if registered by the CDM executive board, have the potential to reduce 88 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2012.
Ramesh noted India has also released its National Action Plan on Climate Change last year with a view to advance actions aimed at adapting to climate change and enhancing the ecological sustainability of its development path.